Missouri conservationists oppose legislative oversight

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | 8:20 a.m. CST; updated 10:36 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 19, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY — Supporters of the Missouri Conservation Department are opposing a potential ballot measure on the legislature's ability to block executive branch rules.

A proposal by House member Jay Barnes would ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment formally creating a legislative process to halt administrative rules deemed incompatible with state law.

A similar structure already exists but is not required by the Missouri Constitution.

Numerous Conservation Department supporters raised concerns at a House committee hearing Tuesday that the proposal could lead to legislative meddling in agency policies.

Barnes said that's not his intent. The Jefferson City Republican said he wants to ensure a balance of power between the legislative and executive branches.

The measure would require a three-fifths vote of the House and Senate to block administrative rules.

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